Vincent Jackson gets last laugh as Bucs top Chargers
If you thought receiver Vincent Jackson seemed a bit more motivated about today's game, it probably had something to do with the opponent.
The clues were everywhere, from his excited run out of the tunnel in pre-game introductions, to a post-game celebration during which Jackson climbed practically into the stands to the elation of nearby fans.
It’s no secret Jackson had hard feelings toward the Chargers organization. He never got the lucrative contract extension he sought after years of seeking it and despite a 2010 contract holdout.
But Jackson found what he wanted in Tampa, leaving San Diego in free agency and agreeing to a five-year deal worth $55.55 million in March. And, Sunday, with the Bucs’ win over the Chargers and the outpouring of emotion from their star receiver, Jackson seemed to get the last laugh.
Not that he was willing to admit it.
“It seems like I’ve been here so much longer than I have,” Jackson said. “I feel so at home in red now. It didn’t feel that uncomfortable. Seeing those guys on the other side, of course, brought back some memories. Seeing (Antonio) Gates and (Phillip) Rivers. I had great relationships with those guys and I wish them the best. But when we get out there between the chalk and it’s time to play, obviously, we have to do our jobs.”
On a day when the Bucs offense wasn’t the juggernaut it’s been of late, Jackson still impacted the game, catching a team-high five passes for 59 yards, including a 31-yard deep out that set up Tiquan Underwood’s 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
That helped the Bucs get a victory and let Jackson get even.
“He was excited,” quarterback Josh Freeman said. “That was the team he played with (and) he just got here. . . I’m really happy that we were able to get this win, for the team’s sake and then also for Vincent’s sake.”